Volume 99, Number 6, September 2012
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||02 October 2012|
Averting group failures in collective-risk social dilemmas
1 Evolution and Ecology Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria, EU
2 Institute of Technical Physics and Materials Science, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences - P.O. Box 49, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary, EU
3 Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor - Koroška cesta 160, SI-2000 Maribor, Slovenia, EU
Received: 5 June 2012
Accepted: 24 August 2012
Free-riding on a joint venture bears the risk of losing personal endowment as the group may fail to reach the collective target due to insufficient contributions. A collective-risk social dilemma emerges, which we here study in the realm of the spatial public goods game with group-performance–dependent risk levels. Instead of using an overall fixed value, we update the risk level in each group based on the difference between the actual contributions and the declared target. A single parameter interpolates between a step-like risk function and virtual irrelevance of the group's performance in averting the failure, thus bridging the two extremes constituting maximal and minimal feedback. We show that stronger feedback between group performance and risk level is in general more favorable for the successful evolution of public cooperation, yet only if the collective target to be reached is moderate. Paradoxically, if the goals are overambitious, intermediate feedback strengths yield optimal conditions for cooperation. This can be explained by the propagation of players that employ identical strategies but experience different individual success while trying to cope with the collective-risk social dilemma.
PACS: 87.23.Kg – Dynamics of evolution / 87.23.Cc – Population dynamics and ecological pattern formation / 89.65.-s – Social and economic systems
© EPLA, 2012
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